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SSA's letter to Senators Murray and Cantwell: Keep Your Promise. Citizenship for All!

On Oct. 11, 2021, SSA joined our allies and coalition partners in Tacoma to urge our senators to stand strong for citizenship for all.

Senator Patty Murray

Federal Building

915 Second Ave, Suite 2988

Seattle, WA 98174

Senator Maria Cantwell

Federal Building

915 Second Ave, Suite 3206

Seattle WA 98174

Dear Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell:

Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance (SSA) is a volunteer organization that advocates for the rights and welfare of immigrants in the Olympia area and with our state legislature.

We ask you to restore dignity and justice to the Reconciliation Bill by ensuring an immigrant pathway to citizenship.

Strengthening Sanctuary Alliance organized in 2016 to protect the rights and safety of immigrants when former president Trump’s hostile policies put them at risk of family separation, detention and deportation. We have advocated for state legislation that supports immigrant rights. We work with local law enforcement and schools to ensure that immigrant rights are protected. We have also assisted immigrants to learn their rights and have supported those threatened with deportation.

We are writing today to encourage you to take advantage of this special moment. As you do the very difficult work of passing needed legislation in the face of intractable opposition, we encourage you to ensure that the resulting packages include a Pathway to Citizenship. Now is the time, albeit past time!

Although we felt some relief after the November 2020 election, we recognize that federal legislation is needed to secure the rights that will enable the undocumented to fully participate in American life – working, learning, building robust communities, and advocating without fear for their own needs.

Our website and Facebook pages describe our priorities, activities, and the work we’ve undertaken with our allies. Our membership includes retired state government employees, professors from local colleges, representatives of faith communities, and public school educators. In our local community we partner with CIELO, the immigrant literacy and community center, and with APIC, the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition. We stand with immigrant rights organizations who have been working for immigrant justice for decades. This year we were told the Budget Reconciliation process would make justice achievable. But it appears that the “advisory” decision of the Senate Parliamentarian is putting that promise at risk.

To press for action, our members participated with OneAmerica, the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, La Resistencia, APIC and the Washington State Labor Council in a rally in Tacoma to demand a “Pathway to Citizenship.” We joined with people and organizations in Seattle, Wenatchee, Yakima, Spokane, Vancouver and other communities in Washington State to deliver a clear message: immigrants and their allies fear that once again justice may slip away, and are urgently asking for the pathway to citizenship that was promised.

You are uniquely positioned to make a difference, not only for your immigrant constituents here in Washington but for millions of people across the country.

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